Saturday, October 8, 2011

It’s Alive!

The Syrian National Council was popularly endorsed, and only 9 people were killed endorsing it. The question now is: how many more people will have to die before Council Elders begin listening to what the people actually want, rather than what their own worn-out ideologies and big egos dictate.

Mishaal Al-Tammo, the Kurdish activist and founder of the Future Current was killed by pro-Assad death squads in attack that left his son, Marcel, and another Kurdish activist by the name of Zahidah Rashkilo, injured but alive Hours later, a large demonstration took place in Qamishly in protest of this development Kurds have not thrown their full weight behind the Revolution yet because they still feel marginalized by Arab opposition groups, but this development might change things. Here Mishaal shortly before he was killed

Riad Seif, one of the main figures behind the Damascus Declaration Council, was assaulted by a gang of pro-Assad thugs after performing Friday prayer at local mosque in Damascus. He was bludgeoned and had his left arm broken, but he does not seem to have been target for assassination, unlike his colleague Mishaal. Here is the assault and here is Seif in the hospital

Meanwhile, in Idlib Province, heavy gunfire and clashes took place bear the evening in Kafar Nabbol , Earlier, locals expressed their love of things Russian and Chinese

In Homs City, Bab Al-Sibaa snipers and security forces opened fire on worshippers as they streamed out of the local mosque prayers , Resulting in several new martyrs , ,  ,

The Damascene suburb of Douma offered a couple of martyrs: a child and a young man Still, people come out in droves at night

In Hraak, protesters goose-stepped all over the Chinese and Russian flags in the morning and called on Arabs to boycott Russian and Chinese goods before showing solidarity with Mishaal Al-Tammo in the evening In Dael they showed support to the Council and remembered Mishaal Al-Tammo as well

“A nation-wide campaign needs to start, many Syrians are saying, to reclaim Steve Jobs. Syrians have done it before, reclaiming, for example, the Cairo- and Beirut-based musician Farid al-Atrash, whom the world remembered as Egyptian rather than Syrian. They then did it again with his sister, the diva Asmahan. Reclaiming Steve Jobs might be more difficult, but it is a success story that Syrians want to be proud of.”

I say: Syria cannot reclaim Steve Jobs unless she's free, his kind doesn't thrive under dictatorship. iFree or iDead!

Statement by the Press Secretary on Violence in Syria

We condemn the assassination of Kurdish opposition leader Mishaal al-Tammo and the vicious and unprovoked assault against prominent opposition figure Riad Sayf in Syria.  The United States strongly rejects violence directed against peaceful oppositionists wherever it occurs, and stands in solidarity with the courageous people of Syria who deserve their universal rights.  These acts lay bare again that the Assad regime’s promises for dialogue and reform are hollow.  Today’s attacks demonstrate the Syrian regime’s latest attempts to shut down peaceful opposition inside Syria.  President Assad must step down now before taking his country further down this very dangerous path.

It is also notable that these acts of violence took place just three days after the UN Security Council failed to pass a resolution calling for international human rights monitors in Syria in the face of brutal repression.  The United States will continue our efforts to mobilize the international community in support of the Syrian people’s democratic aspirations, and work with allies and partners to apply pressure on the Assad regime.

Excerpts from Senator Casey’s speech on Syria delivered October 4

In recent weeks we have seen elements among the opposition emerge who have resorted to violence.  One cannot blame the Syrian people for defending themselves in the face of unmitigated violence, but I do hope though that the aspirations of the Syrian people can be met through a commitment to non-violence and an understanding that democratic change comes not from the barrel of a gun but the desire of all citizens to chart a new course, peacefully…  Here are some of the measures that I believe should take place in the coming days and weeks:

1. The UN has proven to not be the best international institution to address the strife in Syria, but key regional organizations could have a positive and substantial impact moving forward.  The Arab League should suspend Syria’s membership and call for Assad to step down.  The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should explicitly say that Assad is no longer the legitimate leader of the country.

2. Concerned countries in the west should work together with the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to establish an international “Friends of the Syrian People” contact group, which can serve as a main point of contact for the democratic opposition and the Syrian people.   Participation in such a group would not necessarily limit the options of individual members and would not preclude bilateral efforts to take separate actions in support of the Syrian people.  It would however send a clear message of international solidarity in support of non-violent change in Syria.

3. The Syrian people have asked that international humanitarian observers be deployed to the country to monitor the situation and perhaps serve as a deterrent against violence in the country.  Similar to the OSCE human rights  monitors deployed to Kosovo in 1998 to bear witness to the violence wrought by the Milosevic regime, this international team of monitors primarily composed of individuals from the Arab League and GCC could address a central concern of the Syrian people and would be a welcome alternative to military intervention from the outside.

4. Finally, key countries in the international community need to cut off commercial ties with the Assad regime.  The U.S. has done its part, as has the EU.  Turkey may announce new sanctions.  But many continue to conduct business with the Assad regime.  For example, there are reports that India is considering the purchase of crude oil from Syria.  The timing of such a purchase is ill advised and I hope that India can look to identify other sources of energy in the region.

… At this critical time, the newly reconstituted Syrian National Council needs to be able to show the Syrian people that it can deliver results in the international community.  The establishment of a “Friends of the Syrian People” contact group and the deployment of international humanitarian monitors would demonstrate that the SNC is effective and is a critical message to send the Syrian people.



Homs City: Assad security forces removing bodies of martyrs




Deir Ezzor City protesters come under fire Deir Ezzor / Mou Hassan  Jbeileh  Jarzi  Tayaneh  Qrayah